ICC World Cup semi-final: India on top before rain forces reserve day to be used on Wednesday

Ross TaylorIndia and New Zealand will have to come back on Wednesday after the first ICC Men’s World Cup semi-final at Old Trafford was interrupted by rain with the game tantalisingly poised.

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor both scored half-centuries at Old Trafford, with the latter still at the crease unbeaten on 67, as New Zealand finished on 211/5 after 46.1 overs.

They are set to play the remaining 3.5 overs of their innings on Wednesday with no reduction in overs provided the conditions comply.

Jasprit Bumrah was the pick of the Indian bowlers, with figures of 1/25 from eight overs but a battling effort from the Black Caps kept them very much in contention.

There was drama from the very first ball as Bhuvneshwar Kumar thundered the ball into the pads of Martin Guptill. His pleas for a wicket went unheeded and India used and lost their review after just one ball, the delivery drifting down the leg side.

Still, India piled the pressure on the Black Caps from the off, starting with 16 straight dot balls before Guptill finally got off the mark with a single.

It was to be his only run of the day, edging Bumrah to Virat Kohli at second slip the following over.

As has become an all too regular occurrence, Williamson found himself at the wicket with single figures on the board, New Zealand were 1/1.

Williamson and Henry Nicholls went about rebuilding, although Bumrah was virtually unplayable on his way to figures of 1/10 in his first spell of four overs.

While they were just 27/1 after ten overs, the lowest powerplay total of the tournament, the duo added 68 for the second wicket.

Ravindra Jadeja, who kept his place after the win over Sri Lanka, provided the next breakthrough as he bowled a beauty through the defences of Nicholls, castling the left-hander for 28.

Both Jadeja and Yuzvendra Chahal were getting plenty of turn, with Williamson and Taylor playing cautiously as they added 64 in 17 overs.

Williamson had just started to up the pace when he sliced one off Chahal straight to Jadeja, falling for 67 to leave New Zealand 134/3.

Jimmy Neesham was promoted up the order in a bid to lift the run-rate but fell for 12 as Dinesh Karthik claimed a skied leading edge.

The Black Caps looked to be building momentum when Chahal’s final over went for 18 runs, but the following over Colin de Grandhomme feathered one through to MS Dhoni off the bowling of Kumar for 16.

That meant Tom Latham finally came to the middle, joining Taylor, but just two overs later, the rain intervened, and despite hopes of an inspection at 6.10pm, further rain ensured that the teams would come back on the reserve day.